Mr. Robot, Season One (USA, 2015)

TS_Mr.RobotCreated by: Sam Esmail. Again, I’m hesitant about TV because it’s a big investment of time, and the episodic nature of it means that you never know how good it ends up being until it’s over, ie: until you invest hours of your life into it already, and if you’re a crazy person like me, then leaving a show in the dust when you’ve invested in the characters for hours and hours is a very difficult thing to do (although shockingly easy for Peaky Blinders for some reason, but I’ll leave that aside for now). But anyway, this show was kind of an example of how it’s better to let the show run and see what people say when it’s over, because if you follow it on good faith, then you end up watching 10 hours of a show only for it to end up being kind of disappointing. And really, overall, this was a pretty good show, it had a lot of great characters, a really unique voice, bizarre and memorable moments and structure, all of the weird schizo stuff, and so on. But unlike a movie or a book, if the seeds of potential that draw you in start to lose their potency at the halfway mark, and really fizzle and piss away by the end, then you say “oh well” and move on. The truly pernicious thing about the TV format is the fact that it goes on and on and on, and even a short TV series could be 5 seasons, of 13 episodes each or whatever, and you just have to hope and pray that in the end, it all sums up to a half decent piece of art, 5 years later. So right now, I’d say that Mr. Robot isn’t a very good show, but the completist in me can’t really judge any of the stuff I saw until I see how it all ties together in the end. But that raises the question, should I stick with it for another fucking 4 or 5 years if I’m not totally convinced that there will be any improvement? What if the totally on-the-nose stuff, overblown and unsubtle leftist politics, and Fight Club regurgitations end up being the main constitutive body of the rest of the series, and all the stuff that I liked about the first few episodes were actually just the exceptions, laid there to help build up exposition before the show decays into a steaming pile of soap operatics like so many shows do? And you know, as lovely as the acting of basically everybody was (great to see mister Christian Slater kickin it, and the rest of the cast’s fresh faces), I really really really would probably give up on this show entirely if not for Martin Wallström, whose performance of the young, attractive, ambiguously Scandinavian Tyrell Wellick, who is so unknowable, so completely unsettling and bizarre, he makes Christian Bale’s Patrick Bateman in American Psycho seem comforting and relatable. And this show, for all its faults, is fairly unpredictable, and I’m still banking on the hope that this character ends up being some kind of reptilian alien and/or futuristic android with an aching soul or something equally interesting and bizarre. And at the end of the season, Wellick is missing, and Elliot can’t remember what happened or where he is, and there was a big reveal that Christian Slater was a ghost all along, and then I remembered that there was one scene—one single interaction—where Wellick and ghost dad had a conversation in the car together. So I have no idea where this show is going, and they don’t necessarily have to bring in any reptilian robot angst, but whatever it is, it better be fucking good because my expectations are pretty high.

2 responses to “Mr. Robot, Season One (USA, 2015)

  1. Pingback: The Lady Vanishes (UK, 1938) | Offhand Reviews·

  2. Pingback: List of Judgements, Anno Domini 2015 | Offhand Reviews·

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